From the June 2008 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

Involved Pentamillionaires

The number of American millionaire households reached almost six million in 2007, according to Spectrem Group 's recent study, The Millionaire Investor, which is based on an online survey of Americans with $1 million to $5 million net worth (value of primary residence not included). The survey, conducted in December 2007, found that 65% of millionaires described their risk tolerance as moderate. "The millionaire has remained fairly steady in terms of risk," notes Tom Wynn, director at Spectrem. This group also likes to be involved in investing on a day-to-day basis, and considers themselves fairly knowledgeable (65%) when it comes to investing. As far as guidance goes, most millionaires use an advisor to some extent (75%). Additionally, although full-service brokers are the ones most likely to be chosen by this group (35%), independent financial planners are the most highly regarded and produce the highest satisfaction levels among respondents.

The report also found that most millionaires are either already retired (50%) or close to retiring (14%) and will be seeking financial products and services to assist them in this process. When it comes to assets, millionaires generally have over $100,000 in cash, with the highest balances on the West Coast. The survey also found that over 80% of millionaires own individual stocks, with those in the $3 to $5 million range generally averaging well over $300,000 worth of individual stock holdings. Additionally, almost half of the millionaires own international mutual funds.

A second report released by Spectrem Group targets those with $25 million or more. "The big difference is in how they perceive themselves in terms of the risk they take. The $25 million group is much more aggressive," Wynn explains. Those with more wealth make more of the decisions themselves," he concludes.

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